Widely regarded beliefs about Drosophila histone gene copy numbers and developmental requirements have been generalized from fairly limited data since studies on histone gene arrangements and copy numbers have been largely confined to a single species, D. melanogaster. Histone gene copy numbers and chromosomal locations were examined in three species:D. melanogaster, D. hydei and D. hawaiiensis. Quantitative whole genome blot analysis of DNA from diploid tissues revealed a tenfold variability in histone gene copy numbers for these three species. In situ hybridization to polytene chromosomes showed that the histone DNA (hDNA) chromosomal location is different in all three species. These observations lead us to propose a relationship between histone gene reiteration and chromosomal position.
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